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Pilates Principles

Pilates principles are: Breath, Concentration, Control, Centering, Precision, Balanced Muscle Development, Rhythm and Flow, Whole Body Movement, and Relaxation

Boom, done. lol. Because I love this modality and profession so much and I find myself very protective of what these principles mean, and how I desire for imposters to stop harming Pilatesland. Read more on what these actually mean.


Principal #1 for a reason. It's our life force. It's what moves the body. It's everything. It grounds us down to be present for our practice, body and mind. The breath is the way the body and mind stay connected. It's why Pilates is a mind body practice.


Hey-O I know another word for this: MEDITATION, or focus or awareness or mindful


Over the decade more of teaching Pilates there's a certain personality type to enjoy it the most. I'm looking at you Type As! It takes one to know one. We also like perfection.


All movement comes from the core, your center.


One of my favorite principles. I admired knowledgable instructors ability to move a body a centimeter (literally that small) and have the whole body light up. Pilates is also about doing 4-8 reps of a movement. You know something is hard when all you have to do is four reps. Hello, double leg Stretch!! And that's on the mat, and only 3-6reps recommended.

So if you're in a class and you are being timed or made to do what feels like 100 it's not Pilates. Or, if it's heavy weighted springs. NOT Pilates. Fitness workout, yes.

Pilates is about doing 50 things at once with your mind fully on the experience. Breath, movement, feel your third rib, how are those intercostals feelings, oh, you have weird tension in you rotator cuff, what's that new muscle I've never felt before? It's about proper, safe alignment with effort and ease.

Balanced Muscle Development

No leg days here! It's about a balance body leading to a balanced mind. Full body workouts, moving in all directional planes.

Rhythm and Flow

A quality teacher knows how to make the movements flow, and how to tie sequencing together. In a rehab session it may feel a little different because the goal is a bit different.

Whole Body Movement

"Pilates integrates the mind, body, and spirit to create a life of balance." - BB Manual. I can't say it better.


That post class/session bliss anyone? Standing taller? At more ease? Damn right that was Pilates.

Joe was not a perfect man but he gifted the practice, insight and started a movement. It's the rest of us to include, grow, stay up on modern day science of biomechanics of the body and fascia, etc. Its said that Joe lived by the first 6 principles, I think BB is correct in adding the last three to align with his whole system of life.

Pilates is for all. Let us all be seen and heard. Practice side by side in all seasons of life. We all deserve to be well and safe.

Be kind. Be well.


These principles come from my Balanced Body Comprehensive Training

Pilates' Return to Life Through Contrology by Joseph H. Pilates

Pilates Evolution - the 21st Century by Joseph Pilates, Judd Robbins and Lin Van -Robbins

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